Imagine going to make a signature minty drink and find that your mint has gone bad. Do you know how to make a mojito without mint?
It's not the most ideal of situations, but don’t give up hope. There are quite a few ways you can save your night. You’ll be surprised how many mint substitutes you may have lying around your house.
Okay, so this isn’t the minty treat you wanted, but if you're in a bind, what else can you do?
If you have other herbs around the house, you can take a chance on one of them. They all offer a distinct flavor profiles that mix well with lime and rum.
Recipes like this one skip the mint from the start and opt for several herbs instead. Here are a few options and the essence you can expect them to add to your mojito:
Although it sometimes gets confused with oregano, this herb has a more subtle, sweeter flavor that makes it a great alternative to mint.
Basil is a member of the mint family, which makes it a logical substitute. Basil isn’t as sweet as mint and adds a unique peppery flavor to the drink.
Tarragon has a flavor all its own, but it can be described as sweet and spicy. The closest plant to Tarragon is anise, which is often used in drinks and sometimes compared to licorice.
Rosemary is another member of the mint family and a popular ingredient in many dishes. Its minty flavor and popularity make it the perfect choice as a mint substitute.
Lavender is also part of the mint family but has a much more flowery flavor. It will change the profile of your drink, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Lavender has been growing in popularity lately as a trendy beverage addition.
If you are lucky enough to have mint extract in the cupboard, you have a perfectly suitable replacement for fresh mint.
Being that it's an extract, it's too strong to add straight to your drink. Just add a teaspoon of mint extract to simple syrup to create a minty syrup. Add to your mojito to taste for the minty flavor without the mint.
Adding mint liqueur to a mojito is a way to get that mint taste, but there are a few things to consider before you do.
The mint flavor you get from a liqueur does not have the same fresh taste that you would expect from fresh mint leaves.
You will also need to reduce the amount of rum the recipe calls for or end up with a relatively strong drink.
Another option is to keep a mint-flavored rum on hand in case of an emergency such as this.
Bitters are a secret in the cocktail industry because a little goes a long way to change a drink profile. A few splashes of mint bitters in your mojito with bring out a subtle note of mint that perfectly complements the lime and rum instead of overpowering it.
The best part about bitters is that they will last for five years after they are opened, so you can buy some today and have a back up for quite a while.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if the only minty thing you have in the house is mint candy, then you’ll have to make due.
Some suggest that you crush up a candy cane and mix it with two cups of sugar and a cup of water. Simmer until the candy cane and sugar dissolve, creating a syrup, not unlike traditional simple syrup.
It will not have the same fresh mint flavor, and it will change your drink’s color, but it will give you that hint of mint that you want.
Hopefully, you'll never run out of fresh mint, but you have options if you do.
Not all of them are perfect, and some forget the mint all together, but all of them will get the job done in a bind.
You may even come to find that you enjoy one of these options better than having to muddle mint for every drink and make it your preferred way to make a mojito in the future.
As an organic chemist, Janelle always preferred her drinks pure, like bottled water from the Pyrenees. That is, until a jazz saxophonist blew the doors of her taste buds wide open by introducing her to the joys of cocktails. When not tinkering with new blends, Janelle is runs a classified black-ops department of the NIH.